My question concerns the product catalog of a spare parts store which has categories like motor parts, suspension, brakes, steering, ...
Each product is compatible with one or many vehicles, and each vehicle is categorized by model and brand. There are thousands of vehicles to be searched.
The user must be able to search products by a specific vehicle. First he chooses the brand, and then from the list of this model's brands, he chooses the model and then the vehicle type.
I think the most straightforward way to implement this would be to have product attributes for brand and model. You can then use layered navigation and/or catalog search to guide people through the process.
The custom work that will then be required is to create the relationship between each brand and its models. Is this going to regularly update? If not, it may be that you can implement this logic in an extension without needing to create an admin interface for it.
I thought of creating a subcategory of the root category of my store and making it invisible and assigning brands and models ... as a tree of subcategories. Do you think it would work out well for this case ?
In the other hand, making product attributes for brand and model, how can I create the relationship between them ? Can you give some more advice on the solution ?
You're right I probably won't need an Admin interface for this as the tree won't normally change.